Introducing the CivicTech Fund Africa: Supporting democratic governance through civic participation

Together with its consortium members, including DWF, the Charter Project Africa launched the CivicTech Fund on November 30, 2021.

The launch event, held online and streamed live on Facebook, aimed to present its objectives and scope and answer questions from participants. The event also brought together civil society representatives and high-level officials to discuss and share insights into how they can collaborate to use civic technology and digital engagement for facilitating civic participation, essentially promoting inclusive public decision-making.
Esteemed speakers comprised representatives from the European Union and the African Union, including Alban Biaussat, Senior Policy & Programme Manager – Democratic Governance and Human Rights, Delegation of the European Union to the African Union; Dr Nkhalamba McBride, Head of the Research, Methodology and Development Division, African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM); as well as Ambassador Salah S. Hammad, Head of the African Governance Architecture (AGA) Secretariat, African Union. Speakers also included representatives from the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and Pan-African Parliament (PAP).

What is the Charter Project Africa?
The Charter Project Africa is a pan-African project focused on the commitments contained in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) – the central African Union policy document to advance democratic governance in African Union member states.
The project promotes the usage of civic technology to amplify citizen voices. This will be achieved by providing grants, technical resources, and know-how to civic initiatives pursuing democracy, particularly those led by underrepresented groups.

The project also opens collaboration spaces between citizens, civic initiatives, and African Union policymakers at national, regional and continental levels – emphasising digital formats. The project will also give the African Governance Architecture’s (AGA) role and mandate a particular focus. Furthermore, the role of the ACDEG in achieving positive change in African Union member states will be monitored, analysed and promoted.

Who will the project fund?
The Fund will pay special attention to youth- and women-led initiatives. Additionally, the Fund may also support initiatives led by businesses and civil society organisations that are strongly committed to advancing civic participation. “We are looking for projects that target and include voices that are usually difficult to reach. We encourage applications that focus on inclusion and diversity. The project also hopes to support existing projects with inclusion and diversity at its heart.” Andrew Songa, the Civil Society Secretariat Coordinator of @charter_africa, emphasised.

The programme’s approaches will cover

• Civic technology fellowships
• Digital engagement
• Evidence creation
• Policy dialogue
• Analysis of AGA & civil society processes
• Design of tools & methods for strategic AGA engagement

How will the call for ideas work?
The Charter Project Africa will announce the call for expression on the Civic Tech Fund Africa Website and the Charter Project Africa’s social media pages. The consortium partners will also spread the open call on our social media platforms.

Our contribution to The Charter Project Africa
“We’re an independent foundation that has a growing reputation for building and promoting inclusive, equitable and sustainable capacity development programmes. We look forward to being a part of providing the tools, platforms and content to strengthen democrats, democratic culture and democratic institutions with the much-needed capacity and funding support from the Civic Tech Fund,” said DWF’s Project Manager Nompumelelo Runji.

Our contribution involves coordinating the activities in the southern Africa region at a country and REC level by hosting Democratic Governance Initiatives and grant-making for our region. We will
provide capacity building and support to civic initiatives to promote the ACDEG and engagement with the AGA, and host regional engagements to help facilitate and foster collaboration between civil society in the region and continent.

Our consortium partners
The pioneers will also be granted access to policy and topic experts from the consortium partners, which involves AfricTivistes, Code for Africa (CfA), Gorée Institute, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) and European Partnership for Democracy (EPD). The European Union financially supports this initiative. The Fund will initially target innovators in 11 African Union member countries (Benin, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia). It will expand to supporting initiatives elsewhere on the continent in a future phase.

Follow us on our socials for updates on the call for applications  TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn

Click to visit the Civic Tech Fund Africa Website, and follow LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook for more information and updates.

Contact our Project Manager:  Nompumelelo Runji for project enquiries.

Lerato is an accomplished Communications professional with over 12 years of expertise in 360 communications, specialising in digital marketing, user experience research and strategy. Certified in Digital Marketing, she's overseen the strategic and creative development of female care brands and CSI departments of organisations like Tiger Brands and South African National Blood Service (SANBS). During her agency tenure as PR Manager, she has conceptualised captivating media engagement and bespoke events – building solid relationships with key stakeholders, media, and social media content creators. She is passionate about using digital technology to enhance citizen voices for change, especially regarding women and youth living with mental disabilities and holistic wellness.

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